Goals vs. Resolutions

by marilyn on January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I was so glad to hear one of the hosts of a network morning show today say, “goals are better than resolutions.” If past is prelude, we all know that resolutions tend to last two, three, maybe even four days. . . only to be broken, just like all those resolutions of past years.  Is it because we make them while still feeling bubbly from all that champagne or are there other reasons? I think there is more to it.

Resolutions fall in the category of weak language. When we “resolve” to do something, it’s a bit like “hoping.” Another good word but it’s passive. To “resolve” isn’t exactly a passive word but it isn’t as strong as to “commit.”  As I think of all those who are afraid of the “C” word, I realize I’m onto something. People simply take commitment much more seriously than resolution. We don’t, for instance, say, I’m in a “resolved” relationship. It sounds as though we’re already given up on it being satisfying!

So what does all of this have to do with goals? Good goals fit certain criteria. We think of them as SMART.  That means they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Some goals are also what we call “s t r e t c h” goals. They stretch us beyond where we would limit ourselves and that takes commitment.  The trick is to not break the rubber band by stretching beyond what is possible.  Think about a stretching a rubber band between your both index fingers. If you stretch too far it either breaks or one end snaps off and you  no more tension. The idea is to have the right amount of stretch.

Try to limit your annual goals to a handful of significant ones. I like having no more than three that you are 80 % sure you can achieve but 100% committed to achieving. How do you know?  Ask your, one a scale of 1-10, how motivated am I? How committed am I to doing whatever it takes?

Don’t try to achieve something your heart isn’t into. You most likely won’t achieve it. (This is different from “not feeling like” going to the gym, knowing you always feel better afterwards). If it’s something you want to do but don’t feel you can commit to, talk to a coach or counselor to find out what is in the way.

As your probably know, I like to use a strategic planning program called Your Best Year Yet. The name might sound hokey but it really does work!  I’ve been using it since 2001 and can happily say each year has been better and better because I’ve been better and better about setting the right goals; namely, the ones that will produce the results I want vs. the ones I “should” have. With Best Year Yet you develop the plan organically– looking at where you want to be in a year’s time and then breaking down the actions and mindset that will get you there. It’s a very sensible approach. 

The Best Yeat Yet company is committed to having as many people around the world  as possible use the plan this year so they are now making it available for FREE! After 30 days you have the option of continuing with their tracking system but regardless of whether you do (It’s very reasonably priced and well worth it!) you get to keep your plan. Here’s the link. I encourage you to try it.  I’m so enamored of the Best Year Yet that I will even give you a complimentary half-hour coaching session to help you perfect your plan.

 So, goals vs. resolutions aside,  let’s all “resolve” to make this our Best Year Yet!


* Founder Jinny Ditzler can be found on Huffington Post


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